Personhood… Again

               I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but it’s an important message so here it is again. Fetal “personhood” is ridiculous. Zygotes, embryos and fetuses are not people. Potential people certainly but they have no thoughts, no feelings, no senses, no ability to keep themselves alive (prior to the point of viability at least). All of this is in distinct contradiction to the pregnant person who can think, who do have emotions, moods, dreams and goals. The pregnant person is the only person who is directly involved in the act of being pregnant.

                Yet extremist anti-choice activists cannot seem to let go of the idea that a fetus has rights, that it has a right to occupy the womb of a pregnant person even when that person doesn’t want to be pregnant. They insist that that fetus is not only the equivalent of the pregnant person, but in fact the better of the pregnant person because the fetal life becomes more important than the pregnant person.

                Personhood Colorado have begun the process of getting a personhood amendment on to the 2012 ballot. This is the 3rd attempt and sadly not likely to be their last. Although the group will probably get the required number of signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, much like past attempts, it is unlikely that the Colorado voters will pass it. Both previous attempts were defeated with at least 70% of voters saying no. Over in Ohio, a personhood group got the ballot initiative approved by the attorney general after making revisions and resubmitting it. They now get to begin the process of collecting signatures though unlike in Colorado it is unsure whether they will be able to get the minimum number of signatures needed.

                Recently a ballot initiative in Nevada was approved but a judge required the group seeking the amendment to change the wording used in the description they are using to explain the amendment because it was vague and didn’t provide enough details explaining the potential ramifications of a personhood amendment. They apparently didn’t like the revisions the judge made so they have refilled their petition to ensure that “unalienable right to live of every prenatal person is protected.” The new version does include a list of exemptions for certain medical issues, but birth control, embryonic stem cell research and in vitro fertilization would still be illegal under the revised amendment.

                Most recently we have Kansas jumping on board. Last week it was reported on ABC News that 25 members of the Kansas House will co-sponsor a proposed fetal personhood amendment. If a two-thirds majority passes the amendment in both chambers of the Kansas legislature then the amendment will go on the 2012 ballot for voters to decide.

                It’s an absurd concept and most rational people, even those who oppose abortion, realize that a fetus is not the equivalent to an actual breathing person. Personhood amendments have been attempted and failed in Colorado (twice) and Mississippi with voters rejecting the proposed amendments. In other states throughout the past couple of years, other states have attempted to get a personhood amendment on the ballot and regularly fail to do so. This clear lack of support isn’t stopping them from continuing to try.

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